Finance and accounting are among the most common business fields for students and young job-seekers. The accounting and finance industry can provide many opportunities depending on your interests, skills, and career choices. Finance not only helps you make better decisions regarding money and accounts, but it also helps you keep track of all your financials. Studying finance can help you learn industry-relevant skills. For instance, many people claim that understanding finance helps grow one’s analytical, communication, and decision-making expertise—the three most sought-after employability skills.
As a finance students, you can either choose to practice privately or in governmental industries. However, since it is a highly competitive field, there is a set procedure that you must follow to succeed and out-stand others. For this reason, we will explore a few tricks for finance students about finding a lucrative job post your finance degree.
1. Opt for a higher degree or certifications
Education has become highly essential today since you need relevant academic credentials to prosper in the corporate world or other sectors successfully. Many people argue that a bachelor’s degree is sufficient to reach the top in the finance sector. That might be true for a limited number of people, but not for the majority. Having a higher education degree or accredited certifications is mandatory for a lucrative career in finance.
Hence, if you haven’t already, start planning for grad school, or you can also consider doing some high-level certifications such as CPA or CFA. CPA is becoming an increasingly popular choice for accountants in the US. Nonetheless, it’s better to explore sites designated for CPA exam prep since they have everything from the CPA exam schedule to test prep material.
2. Find a mentor
Sometimes the most effective way to move forward is by seeking help from another expert. You’d be surprised by how much mentorship helps. So, find someone you admire and look upon for your future choices. Also, make sure it is easygoing and comfortable.
We’d suggest going for someone with a good reputation and several achievements. You can ask your teachers/professors to recommend someone. Sometimes they can even personally refer you to a mentor and schedule a meeting.
Mentors are crucial because they enable and encourage a person’s efforts. They support growth, serve as a source of knowledge, and maintain accountability. Similarly, mentors can help set goals, make connections, and offer constructive feedback. They act as a trusted ally willing to listen, understand, and help in any way possible, serving as a free resource with abundant knowledge and encouragement.
3. Do internships
Doing full-time work is mostly not feasible for finance students because of class clashes and other reasons. A better alternative is to do regular internships wherever and whenever you get a chance. Remember, recruiters highly value work experience, whether a full-time job or a contractual internship. They are only looking for the skills and knowledge you gained from your work experience.
Internships will give you an insight into the activities in the financial industry. You will get an opportunity to see the real world before you decide to give in permanently. Besides, you can learn more about the financial sector, expand your knowledge base, and get a glimpse into how your career will progress.
If possible, try completing more than one internship before graduating. Higher work experience only makes you more qualified for your first job. Internships are also a fantastic way to find mentors and expand your professional network. Depending on your performance, they help guide career goals, build a strong resume, and even transition to a permanent job.
4. Build your network
A solid professional network can be your key to success. Networking is beneficial for several reasons; it can strengthen your business connections, help you gain fresh ideas, and advance your career. It can also raise your profile, give you access to more opportunities, and build confidence. You can get crucial and valuable career advice and support from industry experts and other professionals.
The trick to building a professional network is to be genuine. Don’t try to sell your services or start asking for favors immediately. Instead, be experienced and wise. Let your relationship grow, and then begin seeking advice.
You must also plan and commit to networking opportunities such as corporate events, career fairs, conferences, and more. Also, ensure to carry up-to-date resumes, references, and cards wherever you go. Try to meet new people, build your address book, and stay in touch. Always thank your contacts, engage with new content, and choose quality over quantity.
5. Hone soft skills
Every field and industry requires employees with incredible soft skills, and so does finance. Soft skills allow organizations to work effectively and efficiently; they trigger timely delivery, better productivity, and increase retention. Soft skills also improve your ability to work and leave a positive influence on your future career.
Soft skills show that you can adapt and grow. That means recruiters will not have to spend resources on your training or waste time to find a replacement. Soft skills like commitment and resolution automatically make a long-term employee at a company. Moreover, soft skills are vital for maintaining relationships, measuring teamwork, facilitating growth, growing networks, and staying organized. But most critical soft skills are necessary because customers demand them. Today, customer service has become a highly crucial factor in consumer decision-making. Therefore, communicating effectively with customers has become an unsaid mandate in most workplaces.
Some examples of the most common soft skills include:
- Communication: helps in building trust, resolving conflict, increasing engagement, and more.
- Teamwork: helps in improving productivity, getting new ideas, enhancing creativity, etc.
- Critical thinking: helps in identifying, analyzing, and strategizing.
- Time management helps achieve goals faster, reduce stress, and more.
- Decision-making: helps in making strategic decisions, increasing profitability, and more.
The financial industry is exciting, compelling, and highly lucrative. You must be smart about your choices, and you can conveniently succeed in your career.
However, you will have to work hard to achieve your goals. The finance sector might be thrilling, but it is not all fun and games. Instead, it can become pretty taxing if you don’t play your cards right. So, ensure to work hard, be consistent in your efforts, and manage your work well. Lastly, don’t over-pressurize yourself because that will lead to unnecessary stress and a decline in productivity.